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May 04, 2009

Intercultural Spoof Writing!

Hello everyone in Uppsala and at Stanford!

Please post a comment here to explain your group's discussion, spoof writing, and what you thought of this video-conference connection today. See the lesson plan here: http://ccr.stanford.edu/workshops/050409.html

What did you learn about rhetoric across cultures?
What was most memorable?
What new insights do you have that you can use for your own research paper and future?

April 22, 2009

Uppsala, Sweden connects with Stanford on Global Leadership Speeches

Right now, students are connecting across a 9 hour time zone to discuss the rhetorical strategies that global leaders use in speaking to different audiences. There are six small groups on each side, analyzing speeches by figures such as Obama & Prime Minister Reinfeldt, the Dalai Lama & Christopher Hitchens, Mona Sahlin & Nyamko Sabuni, Obama & McCain on gay marriage, Al Gore & David Keith & Jill Sobule. See the lesson plan here: http://ccr.stanford.edu/workshops/042209.html

Together, the students wrestled with analyzing the rhetorical strategies utilized in these speeches, with special attention to Doxa -- or the cultural values underlying the oratory -- and a particular focus on how speakers handled elements of gender, race, and religion.

For everyone who participated, we now invite you to leave a reflection on this cross-cultural encounter as a comment to this entry. In particular, you might answer some of the following questions:

  • What did you think of today's activity?
  • What did you learn about global leadership or ways in which leaders use rhetoric across diverse audiences (be specific if you can; share something that your group discussed!)
  • How will your experience in the video conference today enrich your own research project or approach to oral rhetoric and presentation?

Continue reading "Uppsala, Sweden connects with Stanford on Global Leadership Speeches" »

February 21, 2009

Speeches for Global Leadership: Video Conference Reflections

Today, students from Stanford University, USA, and Uppsala University, Sweden, came together for a video conference to discuss speeches about global issues, including

  • Nelson Mandela - statement following his release from Pollsmoor Prison in 1990
  • Meryl Streep - speaking about international women's rights in 2006
  • Bono - address at the 54th National prayer breakfast in 2006
  • Barack Obama - his famous "Perfect Union" speech that addresses race in America, 2008
  • Al Gore - his generational challenge to Re-power America in 2008
  • George W. Bush - his final speech as President in January 2009

Together, the students wrestled with analyzing the rhetorical strategies utilized in these speeches, with special attention to Doxa -- or the cultural values underlying the oratory.

We invite you to leave a reflection on this cross-cultural encounter as a comment to this entry. In particular, you might answer some of the following questions:

  • What did you think of today's activity?
  • What did you learn about cross-cultural rhetoric or communication from this activity?
  • How will your experience in the video conference today enrich your own research project or approach to oral rhetoric and presentation?
  • How did you create an online group identity? How was this technologically-mediated identity different from one that you might create with a face-to-face interaction?

Continue reading "Speeches for Global Leadership: Video Conference Reflections" »

February 02, 2009

Uppsala, Sweden and Stanford Video Conference on Speeches by Global Leaders

Today, at 9 am in Stanford, and 18.00 in Sweden, students connected over video conference technology to share their perspectives on speeches made by Global Leaders, including

* Nelson Mandela
* Benazir Bhutto
* Bono
* Barack Obama
* Al Gore
* Samantha Power

Students discussed their responses to the rhetorical choices made by the speakers and the way the speech reflects the Doxa or Cultural Values of the intended audience. Then, students shared their own current and future research ideas before working on a collaborative activity - to present a statement on what they learned about intercultural communication or how speakers need to change their rhetoric to communicate effectively across a global audience.

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What did you think of the video conference today? Post a comment in response!

· What have you learned about cross-cultural rhetoric from this activity?
· What have you learned are the obstacles in cross-cultural communication?
· How did technology facilitate your cross-cultural communication?

Thank you!

Continue reading "Uppsala, Sweden and Stanford Video Conference on Speeches by Global Leaders" »

December 03, 2008

Final reflection from Stanford Visual Rhetoric!

Please share any closing words about your cross-cultural video conferences and blogging!

December 01, 2008

Rethorical Analysis: Swedish Match (Yes, again!)

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JAKOB: This is the image I chose for my presentation. It comes from iht.com - Internation Herald Tribunes web - and shows a swedish snus user amongst fellow tobacco users - but in this case smokers. What does it say about the typical snus user? Does it say anything at all?

Unfortunaly I'm home sick at the moment, so I won't attend todays Marratech session. Good luck everyone!

November 30, 2008

Further analysis, Swedish Match

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LOTTA: Here comes the picture I´m commentating on, the text and the Pictures are taken from Swedish Match homepage, which I intend to analyze with focus on how they try to create an Ethos. What kind of image do they try to establish? In what way do they confront the criticism they get from anti-tobacco supporters? If they don´t, why is that, and what information do they present instead?

November 28, 2008

Mattias Brattgård (Analyze group 3)

In previous posts on this blog you can read about a political party called Sverigedemokraterna (the Sweden Democrats).
They have been repeatedly accused of expressing racist opinions and to house nazi and racist members within their ranks.
They are now doing everything they can do wash off that image. Whenever they are in a public debate or handing out flyers and such, they are always trying to advertise themselves as a serious political party, not as a group of anti-immigrant extremists, as they have been labeled before.

In the swedish elections 2006, things went surprisingly well for the Sweden Democrats. Alot has been written and said about it but it is obvious that the new image they were going for seems to have worked.

Other members of my group are going to analyze their own communications, I have chosen to focus on the criticism being expressed towards them.
I have limited my analysis to a TV debate between the head of the sweden democrats, Jimmie Åkesson, and
Mona Sahlin, a representative of the Socialdemocrats, the biggest political party in sweden.
I am not going to cover the whole debate though. I will focus on what Sahlin says and how she says it. She has later moved on to become the leader of the socialdemocrats but at the time this debate took place she was not.

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from left to right: Jimmie Åkesson, Moderator, Mona Sahlin

When talking about and analyzing political rhetoric I personally find that topoi and elocutio are particularly interesting and as such, I am going to use these terms as the backbone of my analysis. It is also important to pay attention to Sahlin´s actio and her execution of different tropes and figures.
I realize that each of these three, (topoi, elocutio and actio) probably could fill more than a few pages all on their own and that I am going to have to limit myself as things go along, but my ambition is to see what kind of arguments she uses and where she finds them. What kind of language she uses to make the most of these arguments and how she uses herself to express her opinions and to "win" the debate.

Rhetorical analysis: Swedish Match

Group 5: Anna-Clara, Lotta, Magnus, Robert, Jakob and Mattias.

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Swedish Match is a major producer of matches and tobacco products. In 1999 the company sold their cigarette manufacturing to focus foremost on moist snuff or snus and cigars. In our project we will explore how the company adapts and relates to different rhetorical situations and doxa. For instance the public opinion against smoking in recent years or gender issues. We are also interested in the strategies the company uses to market their product, when tobacco advertising is prohibited in most of the markets where Swedish Match is active. This poses a challenge to the group since there is very little visual material to analyse.

ANNA-CLARA: Of Sweden’s approximately 1.2 million snus consumers, every fifth user is a woman. Swedish Match are very aware about this and they see a big potential market. So in February this year Swedish Match launched a new brand for women called Vertigo. I’m trying to analyze the press release. Which kind of arguments do they use to convince the women? Why is it so different from regular snus? Have they thought about the design? Etc.
One interesting thing is that Swedish Match stopped producing Vertigo three weeks ago. It didn’t sell as much as they thought it would. What went wrong?

MAGNUS: In my analysis I will focus on how Swedish Match argues the relative benefits of snus usage to smoking. It is a recurring claim in the company’s rhetoric that Swedish success in decreasing cigarette smoking is linked to smokers switching from cigarettes to snus. The company argues that it would be beneficial to public health if snus was made available in other markets too. This is one of their foremost arguments to convince the European Union to cancel the prohibition on snus within the union. I will also look at some of the responses this claim has caused.

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ROBERT:
"Im looking at how Swedish Match is marketing their nicotine-free alternative "Onico". I'm interrested in finding out how they argue for Onico, mainly because of two things. 1: When marketing regular snus their main argument seems to be that snus is a much healthier alternative for smokers. When marketing Onico, the obvious way to argue would be to say that it is the healthiest alternative, but by saying that they also implicitly say that regular snus actually is dangerous. This would be quite unstrategic. 2: By turning too many regular snus-customers into buying Onico, there is a also a risk beacuse the customers are now buying a product that is not addictive in the same way, which makes it more probable that they will actually stop buying their products at some point. So, my starting point will be to see how they manage to balance their marketing, so they do sell Onico, but that this new product doesn't undermine their market for regular snus."


LOTTA: The text and the Pictures are taken from Swedish Match homepage, whitch I intend to analyze with focus on how they try to create an Ethos. What kind of image do they try to establish? In what way do they confront the criticism they get from anti-tobacco supporters? If they don´t, why is that, and what information do they present instead?

JAKOB: My rethorical analysis is based on the differences between what and/or how Swedish Match themselves on their homepage presents snus for a certain type of person, compared to whom english or american news agents presents it for. Who is snus for, and how does different doxa relate to this? Can certain types of doxa only be used to promote the product, or can it also be used to make a product look dangerous/unhealthy?

The answers will soon be presented on a blog near you.

Snow White and the Madness of Truth: Group 6 from Uppsala

Hello or Hej as we say in Sweden! We are the jolly group six that include Sandra Friman, Ann-Lee Flambe Westman, Johan Eriksson, Robin Söderqvist, Jessica Jaxvik and Anna Karin Almqvist. We are going to analyze the responses of the sabotage of the art-work called “Snow White and The Madness of Truth”.
In 2004 there was a exhibition at the Historical Museum in Stockholm called Making difference. At the same time as a conference against genocide. At this exhibition there was an installation made by Dror Feiler and Gunilla Sköld-Feiler. The installation is basically a pool of blood and in this pool there is a little boat floating around. The sail is a picture of a Palestinian suicide bomber from Israel. There was also a text accompanied with the art-work.
The ambassador of Israel, Zvi Mazel, visited the exhibition and he became very upset and destroyed the installation. Claiming that the art-work glorified suicide bombers and their means. The actions of the Israeli ambassador led to a diplomatic conflict between Sweden and Israel. This act was followed by a lot of rhetorical response in the media, such as our articles that we are going to analyze in our project.

Sandra’s project: I’ve chosen to do an analyze of an article written by Henrik Brors, who frequently writes the editorial in one of the most well known newspapers in Sweden. After the ambassadors attack on the art-work, the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon stated that Mazel had the full support of the Israeli government. The article of Brors is a response to that statement. I’ve decided to concentrate on Brors use of logos: is it a strong tactic to support his arguments, and it is effective in this situation?

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Ann-Lee’s project: I will analyze an article published in a Swedish newspaper shortly after the attack of the art-work. It is an interview with Zvi Mazel, the Israeli ambassador.
Which rhetorical technique does this article use to make Zvi Mazel look nice and make him look in his better days?
Can this rhetorical technique emplane from the factor outside the rhetorical situation in doxa?

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Johan’s project:
“Ambassador supported by the Israeli government”
Article publish in the Swedish newspaper DN that reports about what kind of response the Israeli ambassadors actions gets from the Israeli prime minister, president, security minister and the Swedish ambassador in Israel.
The purpose with the coming analysis is to understand what the involved comments meant for the different countries and see what effects it had and also to see it from the different views of the countries (doxa). Another part is also to se if and how they succeeded from a rhetorical point of view.

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Robin’s project: I would like to analyze Görans response to Mazel. In what way does he choose his words
According to; freedom of speech/censorship, the accuse of Sweden as an anti-semitic country and diplomatic doxa.

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Jessica’s project: I’ve chosen an article by a writer and journalist named Göran Rosenberg. This article was published January the 23rd 2004 in a Swedish daily called “Dagens Nyheter” (News of the Day).
The article mainly depicts the writer’s own opinions and speculations on the basis of the original event and the accusations by Mazel of anti-Semitism in Sweden that followed. So, my focus will be on how the writer chose to rhetorically bias/slant his article. And how do these choices affect the ethos, pathos and logos in the article?


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Anna Karin’s project: I am going to use a review of the art-work to see how the writer use rhetoric means. This review was published on an art-site on internet called www.konsten.net. The writer´s opinion is that Mazel acted wrong, and that it is wrong to vandalize art. He thinks it is against democracy to destroy art because everyone should have the right to express themself. What I will look closer on in the text is how the writer convince us about this. I will also mention how much affect a writer that published a review can influence the whole rhetoric situation that Mazel´s happening caused.

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Group A (the elite is petite): The Issue of the Muhammad caricatures

Analysis of Jylands-Postens Muhammad Caricatures

Group 1 (from the left): Tim Berndtsson, Erik Nilsson, Esmeralda Lohe, Moa Mattsson, Marko Nyyssölä, Axel Barvaeus,

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The Muhammad Caricatures

The 30th of September 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Some Muslim factions believe that the Quran forbids the depicting of the prophet Muhammad, which caused many Muslims worldwide to react strongly to the published images. Several Muslim spokespersons claimed that Jyllands-Posten intentionally tried to provoke Muslims by conveying the discriminating view that all Muslims are terrorists, on top of defying the ban against the depicting of Muhammad. Many Muslims, who remained indifferent of the depicting of the prohphet, still felt deeply insulted by the” xenophobia” of the cartoons .Jyllands-Posten replied that the publication of the caricatures was meant to be a statement on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press; a debate regarding the right to freedom of speech versus the freedom of religion arised. The doxa of many Muslim countries differs from the doxa in the Christian/secularized world, a fact that became very visible in the controversy over the cartoons.

Eriks Entry:
In my essay I will try and focus on how the freedom of speech connects with the freedom of religion. How our doxa differs from the Arabic countries on this matter. Why did several newspapers in Denmark (and later other countries) publish the caricatures although they probably knew that they where provoking? The rhetoric response I’ve chosen is a radio debate between one of the chief editors who published the caricatures, Lisbeth Knudsen, and a Danish imam, Abdul Wahid Pedersen. They represent very different views on the discussion.
The purpose of my essay is to analyze medias part in the controversy. I’d like to find out why some papers chose to publish the caricatures and some don’t? Why did they republish the caricatures two years later?


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Tims Entry:
In my essay I have decided to further examine the response upon the Jyllands-posten cartoon controversy given by Swedish politicians. “Swedish politicians” I will hereby define as representatives of the parties in the Swedish Parliament.

I will use an article called ”Svensk linje diskuteras idag” (Swedish Guidelines [for opinions on the cartoon controversy] Discussed Today) published in newspaper Dagens Nyheter 06/02/2006 as a starting point for my discussion. The article contains reviews of short statements made by the leaders of each of the seven parties represented in the Swedish Parliament.

I noted that these statements displays a striking similarity with each other; for example the statements from Vänsterpartiet (The Left Party – socialist) and Kristdemokraterna (Christian Democrats – conservative), parties on opposite sides of the political spectrum, mediates almost fully identical opinions, except slight differences in the choice of words. This is interesting, as the parties usually has different opinions in almost every political matter (in fact: it is their job to have different opinions in almost every political matter…).

This seems to imply that the politician’s statements in this situation are strongly controlled by doxa. The situation is so tense and formalized that the rhetors are almost totally controlled by the situations context. The message, in this case, seems to be evoked by the doxa, rather than from the rhetor; in other words: the message is almost emanated from doxological structures. The message is, to paraphrase Hemingway, only ”the tip of the iceberg”. My essay intends to examine the underlying doxa of the situation, and discover how the doxa affects and controls the rhetorical message.

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”Of course we do not falter in our support of the freedom of speech. But with freedome comes responsibility, and I belive that it was irresponsibel to publish the cartoons.”
- Göran Hägglund Kristdemokraterna (Christian Democrats – conservative)

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”Miljöpartiet is always ready to stand up for the freedom of speech. But we do not consider it necessary to make a public statement for the sake of Denmark.”
Maria Wetterstrand Miljöpartiet (The Green Party – Green)

”I’m positive to support a joint statement in defense of the freedome of preech. At the same time I would strongly oppose from the rasistic forces who tries to hold Islam and muslims responsibel for terrorism.”
- Lars Ohly Vänsterpartiet (the Left Party – Socialist)

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”It must be clear here we stand in questions of freedom of speech and freedome of press. But one must make a difference beetween the right to publish something and the appropriatness to do it.” Maud Olofsson Centerpartiet (The Center Party – Agritarian social liberalism)

Moas Entry:
I am going to analyze an article written by Pernilla Ouis. She is a Muslim and ethnologist and writes in her article “Vi måste tåla nidbilderna” (“We have to tolerate the caricatures”) that the Muslims all over the world has exaggerated in their protests against the caricatures. The article is published January 7th 2006, a little more than three months after the publishing of the caricatures in Jyllands-posten. The questions I am going to try to get an answer to is:
• What is the intended audience?
• How important is Pernilla Ouis ethos in this article? Could anyone have written it?
• Has Pernilla Ouis adapted her article to Swedish conceptions (doxa) of Islam? If yes, in what ways?

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Markos Entry:
My focus on this assignment will be on the reactions that first were moderately expressed in the Egyptian newspaper el Fagr in October 17th 2005. And then compare it to the “storm” that developed later in January and February 2006. El Fagr began with condemning the caricatures with very little or non-response from rest of the Muslim world. I will investigate what the reasons were for the massive and violent protests that came several months afterward. So the first condemnation from el Fagr will be compared with second more violent condemnation from the Muslim community.

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This is a picture of El Fagr’s headline page from their October 17, 2005 edition.
In the upper right corner you can se one of the Mohammed caricatures.

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A picture of the Danish embassy in Teheran in Iran when it was attacked several months later.

Esmeraldas Entry:
I am going to analyze an article, written by Abd al-Wâhid Yahaya, at www.islamguiden.com, after the caricatures of Muhammed had been published in Jyllands-Posten.
The name of the article is ”Muhammedkarikatyrerna: Varför känner vi oss kränkta?” (”The caricatures of Muhammed: Why does we feel insulted?”). In the article Yahaya tries to explain why the Muslims reacted like they did. Yahaya just mention the caricatures in the end of his text. The article discusses how a Muslim feel about Islam and the prophet Muhammed and Yahaya let this information explain the question in the title. Throughout the article he talks a lot about that the Muslims are not being understood by the non-religious. Yahaya ends with that the caricatures give the wrong picture of Islam and the Muslims.

I ask myself:
• In which ways does Abd al-Wâhid Yahaya argue to convince the readers that the publishing was wrong, if you remember the strong counter argument: The freedom of speech. And if you keep in mind that several embassys were burned and people were life threatened by the Muslims.

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Axels Entry:
I have chosen to focus on the double episode of the animated TV show “South Park” in which the Mohammed caricature controversy is commented upon. The makers of “South Park” depicted Mohammed in these two episodes, as a commentary on the situation, but the images of the prophet were later censured by Comedy Central, the broadcasting company, before airing.

My ambition is to try to discern how the rhetorical response (the two episodes), and “South Park”s interpretation of the events (the controversy), is affected by American doxa, and if this potential adherence to doxa causes the episodes to be received and perceived differently in Sweden and the US. I also intend to comment on the way Parker and Stone (the creators of “South Park”) satirize on the Mohammed controversy – what elements of rhetorical communication can be identified? Hopefully, I’ll also be able to briefly discuss the actions of Comedy Central – was the censure of the images a rhetorical statement in itself?

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Kristina Cedervall Analyze group 3

The rhetorical situation – Sverigedemokraterna support grows
Before the Swedish election in 2006 the support of Sverigedemokraterna (The Swedish democrats) grows heavily in a youth election just before the actual vote. This alerts one of the largest newspapers in Sweden (Aftonbladet) and they decide to interview the party chairman, Jimmie Åkesson.

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The history of Sverigedemokraterna has been heavily debated in Sweden as they have tented to be somewhat of a racist party with nazi-loyalists. Now they have tried to remake the party to make it less radical. To get into the Swedish Parliament you need 4% of the votes, in the youth election Sverigedemokraterna reached 11,9% and Jimmie Åkesson was now sure of reaching his goal of taking the party into the Parliament.

Purpose
I'm going to analyze the ethos of Jimmie Åkesson, how he tries to build confidence by this interview whilst Aftonbladet tries to demolish the very same thing.

The Laser Man - Analyze group 4 (Marratech session 1/12)

Analyze group 4
Sanna Westermark
Åsa Fiskáare
Adam Sjöborg
PJ Lind
Klara Lindroos

The rhetorical situation: A convicted murderer and attempted serial killer, known in the Swedish media as Lasermannen (the Laser Man). From August 1991 to February 1992 he shot eleven immigrants in the Stockholm and Uppsala area, killing one and seriously injuring the others. The series of shootings created a lot of tensions among immigrants and in the media. The police and politicians were powerless and tried to calm the situation, but with mediocre result. We will be analyzing the response from media, the politicians and police from various articles, speeches and statements.

Release of illustration of the criminal based on eye witness information – Sanna Westermark
Using this kind of illustration is very rare in the Swedish police force. It had only happened once before and it was when the Swedish prime minister was murdered 5 years earlier. The investigation failed and the murderer is yet not imprisoned. The doubt was heavy when the commissioner in the Laser man investigation contradicted the newly created doxa that phantom pictures are inefficient and released the illustration anyhow. Is the American doxa towards the usage of phantom pictures different from the Swedish doxa?

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The statement of the police commissioner - Åsa Fiskáare
In an interview in Swedish news the police commissioner gets asked a lot of quite hard questions that the media and the people of Sweden want answers to. One of the toughest questions is why the police haven’t announced a ransom in order to get the murderer. Some people seem to think that this has to do with that the victims are coloured, a statement the police commissioner Björn Eriksson actually gives a real answer to, instead of refusing to comment, as some powerful people tend to do. During the whole interview there's a feeling that Eriksson really is giving us answers, without exposing the police plans. He is a good rhetorican and I intend to study how he succeeds thanks to the rhetoric. What is he doing, in terms of rhetoric?

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Media’s change of tone through the period of shootings- Adam Sjöborg
The time between 1991 and 1992 is a time of instable economy and a great concern about the immigration issue in Sweden. I believe this is somewhat triggered by the “laser man” Ausonius. What I want to look into is the attitude of a couple of articles. Im going to compare one article that is written before it is known to the public that Ausonius shoots only at people whit a foreign background and after. Is it in the media’s interest to help create a greater concerned population, or even actively work to make the population more anxious, in order to sell more newspapers?

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The prime minister’s speech in a Stockholm suburb with a large immigrant community - PJ Lind
In February 1992 the Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt and his immigration minister Birgit Friggebo made a public appearance in Rinkeby, a Stockholm suburb populated by lots of immigrants (almost 90% are of foreign decent.). The reason for the appearance was the fear the immigrant community was in after 11 attacks on random immigrant. Carl Bildt came to Rinkeby and delivered a speech. The speech was very formal. Very formal. The aim was to calm the masses but he failed to do so. I will take a closer look at the speech (it was taped) in general and at elocutio in particular. Is the language in the speech well chosen?

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The prime minister’s speech to the nation - Klara Lindroos
Four days after the Swedish prime minister held the speech in Rinkeby, he made a statement in TV. A speech to the nation so to say. I'm studying the speech, focusing on his actio and pathos. Does it show in his actio that he wasn't there on his own initiative, but rather at the demand of the people?

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Robert Karlsson (Analysgrupp 3 Uppsala)

I have chosen to analyze a song from the swedish political party "Sverigedemokraterna" (roughly translated "Sweden democrats" or "SD" for short) called "Blåsippans väg", or "Path of the hepatica". In the following link you can hear the song, alas in swedish, with the political party flower shown (since swedish political parties traditionally use a flower as their symbol). The man talking at the end of the song is their party leader, Jimmie Åkesson, urging people to follow the "Path of the hepatica" in the upcoming election.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtZ2mg4-zTk

When the song was written and created, recent polls had shown that SD was the third most popular party amongst youth with just under 12% of the votes. This coupled with the way the song is made (lyrics and instrumental, they've released a karaokeversion and a technoremix etc.) leads me to believe the purpose is to win votes from a younger, still undecided audience. This is what my project will be focused around, I am going to analyze the target group of the song, how the SD have tried to approach this group (both in the distribution of the song and how the song itself is formed to convince the target group) and evaluate how well this task was accomplished as well as presonal thoughts on how they could have improved on their works.

The SD is a very patriotic and conservative party (oftentimes thought to be racist), which reflects very well in the lyrics of the song. Here is an excerpt from the song, quickly translated word for word (so it's no poetry, not saying that it is in it's original, swedish form either).

And next to the little flower
that stands alone and shines
which threads down in the ground are a thousand years and more

There a little stripe is sighted
where tha grass has been tread
where naked roots are revealed. It's a path I see

I left your path so broad
and follow the other path's steep way.
Yes I left your path, because I'm not a coward.

Linus Forslid Analysgrupp 3 Uppsala

I am analysing an article in the Swedish newspaper Uppsala Nya Tidning. The article, published in November 2006, is a response to the relative success of the far right-wing party Sverigedemokraterna during the elections earlier that year. Though the party didn't succeed in getting any seats in the national parliament, they did manage to get a few seats in many municipalities. The party was and is considered to be controversial and radical, mainly because of their views on immigration, and to many it was a travesty that a political party seen as racist and anti-democratic got as much support as they did.
This specific article I am going to look at talks about how while the intentions of the party is fairly clear, they should not be shunned or boycotted from the political scene by the other parties. The article argues that giving the party a martyr status is playing right into their hands, since they could then play on this and get themselves sympathy support. The article states that the party wasn't ready for their success and really only had opinions on a single political topic, that of immigration. Giving the party responsibilities and forcing them to make decisions on local questions such as funding of schools and municipal taxation would theoretically expose their lack of planning and show people that Sverigedemokraterna isn't a party fit to lead, the article argues.
While it is fairly obvious that the writers of the article and indeed the whole newspaper is very much against the party and has no love for it, I find the article mild in its presentation of the party. They nowhere flat out refer to the party as racist, even though that wouldn't have been a far fetched thing to do, for example. This I find interesting, as the party themselves have released a lot of material talking about how the media hates and insults them. My analysis will therefore be about how this article managed to make the reader dislike Sverigedemokraterna with fairly subtle means. What tricks and what kind of language is used to achieve this effect? Is it successful? Does it fit the rhetorical situation? Those are a few of the questions I will look at.
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Unfortunately there isn't much graphic material to present about this article, since it is only text. I have however added a picture of Uppsala Nya Tidning's logo, which unfortunately has remained the same for a long, long time, and doesn't really tell much about what political side the paper actually takes (it's what's referred to as "independently liberal", by the way, which has a different meaning by Swedish standards compared to what it would entail in the United States). Still, better than nothing.

Anna Lamb & Mari Laru (Analysgrupp 3)

We are working with a leaflet that a Swedish party called Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden democrats) gave out during the election 2006 in Sweden. The SDs were from the beginning mostly an one issue-party, focusing on the immigrations questions, today they have tried to expand a bit.
The interesting thing about the situation is that the party got a lot more votes than expected. The flyer that they handed out before the election is in our opinion therefore interesting since it might give us an idea of what their successful strategy was and we thought we might analyse why it was so successful.
Sverigedemokraternas strategies differ from a lot of the other parties in the way that they present themselves. Were other Swedish parties would present what their aims and goals would be if they won, the SDs has another approach. Since most of the other parties don’t want anything to do with them and call them names such as racists and immigrant haters they have formed their leaflet as an answer to that. It is in other words formed as a long refutatio.
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We find it interesting that a party that have been so criticized by the government and other parties that they have to form their election campaign leaflet like this still can get so many votes (3%).
Is it their slogan - Safety and Tradition - and visual format of the leaflet that give the voters a secure feeling?

November 27, 2008

Analyze of the German supermarket corporate Lidl

Blog entry – Analyze group 2

Group presentation
Joakim Tholén, Hedvig Ek, Emma Norman
Emma Holm, Maria Levis, Martin Lundén

The rhetorical situation – the introduction of Lidl in Sweden
2003 the German supermarket corporate Lidl announced their plans to open up their business in Sweden. A vast storm of criticism emerged from a wide scale. The criticism found its source in lacking of quality regarding their products and the actual threat the corporate made against the Swedish agricultural sector, because the more part of their products are imported from Germany. Other aspects that caused the storm were the fact that Lidl repeatedly had mistreated their employees and thereby violating against European corporate-laws.

Thesis and purpose
As a group we’re now going to examine the rhetorical responses that emerged when Lidl was established in Sweden - how and if these have changed over time. We’re going to look on national- and international doxa, how they vary and how Lidl have been forced to adjust.

We have decided to split our group in two. Semi group A will observe the different aspects of the criticisms that emerged in 2003. Semi group B will do a comparison between the on going (autumn 2008) commercials in Sweden and in Germany.

Semi group A - different aspects of the criticism
Each group member will analyze different aspects of the criticism regarding Lidls establishment in Sweden.

One of the critical aspects were the planned sale of German, and not Swedish milk in the Lidl grocery stores. The range of the opinion were stretched all from the long transports between Germany and Sweden but also the threat the sale meant to the Swedish agricultural sector.

The questions that will be answered are the following:
Lidl meets a massive amount of criticism regarding the sale of German milk in Sweden. Where does the criticism find its roots? Which differences between Lidls corporate policy and Swedish doxa are to be found? How does Lidl answer to the criticism? If so, how does it appear?

Another aspect of criticism is Lidl’s way of dealing with their employees. A former female staff member revealed the truth about working at Lidl. Lidl’s website reflects another picture of how it is when you are working for them.

The question that will be answered is the following:
Due to her interview, has Lidl taken this revelation to notice?

A third aspect regarding criticism; how did other European countries react when Lidl opened there business there? Was it the same react as in Sweden? For example, Poland was very agitated about the working conditions, when Sweden was more focused on the groceries.

The question that will be answered is the following:
How is doxa in the other European countries? Is it the same as Sweden?
If not, what was the rhetorical situation in the other countries?

Semi group B – the commercials and marketing
We’re going to compare the Swedish and German commercials in their representative countries. We might also look on websites and compare possible differences and, if needed, also look on other similar companies and see if there are any vast differences here.

Our focus will be on how Lidl as a company in their commercials have been forced to change how and on which way they now have to reach out to their target group in Sweden compared to Germany. The national doxa in Sweden doesn’t look like they were used to in Germany which led to a different ethos-establishment in the various countries. So, how does the actual TV-spot from Lidl look in Sweden and in Germany? Why have they used the figures they have? Does the commercial somehow connect on the criticism they’ve been handed ever since they announced themselves in Sweden? If it’s obvious that they do – how does this show?

We find that the commercial plays an important role in the different rhetorical aspects. And that the TV-spot is one of the few rhetorical responses Lidl actually have made.

Lidl Sweden:

Lidl Germany:

November 20, 2008

Thoughts on the Marratech session on november 17

Our group learned that even though the American and Swedish rhetorical traditions differ in many ways, our views on the numerous rhetorical messages portrayed on the various McDonalds websites were surprisingly similar; our partners at Stanford offered pretty much the same interpretations that we made ourselves. The most memorable aspect of our first Marratech session was also our biggest insight: Although we live on opposite sides of the world, we can still work together in real-time as if though we're sitting in the same room. The world is suddenly not as large as it appears.
We look forward to the continued discussions on doxa and how doxa affects who is targeted by rhetorical messages and -information. Hopefully next time, we'll all be more accustomed to using the virtual whiteboard and such, which should allow us to make the most of the time given.

// Axel, Erik and Moa, Group A

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We learned how McDonalds look at different cultures and how they make different kind of websites for various countries. We looked at Mexico and New Zeeland and there were obvious differences between the two. The Mexican webpage were directed towards kids with happy colors, toys and food rather then nutrition and health. New Zeeland seemed more aware of global matters such as health and environment.

The most memorable thing from the Marratech-session was to meet students from the other side of the world and hear their input on the same subject as ours. To work with them cross culture and overcome communication problems that occurred due to technical matters. We hope that the next Marratech-lesson will be just as good but without the problems.

Regards,
Group B - Emma, Adam & Martin

November 19, 2008

Group A: Christian Ollano and Alan Joyce

We are two students working on analyzing various forms of advertising media. In Christian's research project, he explored advertising campaigns that have advertised the adult entertainment Mecca of Las Vegas and how the images conveyed reflect the image of both Las Vegas the destination and Las Vegas the residential community. Alan is looking into the concept of corporate image management, meaning the use of advertising by corporations to sell themselves to the public rather than any specific product or service.

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In his research project, Alan touched upon a variety of current examples of prominent corporate image management, such as GE's "ecomagination" campaign and provided an analysis of the contributions that corporate image can play in forming the company-consumer relationship. Even for those without direct involvement in corporate marketing policy, these issues and the knowledge carried with them are important keys in the understanding of modern society, and should be of ample value to all readers. As new communication methods bring corporations closer to consumers, the relationship between company and customer becomes increasingly more personal, based on the persona of the company that is portrayed through their corporate image.

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As a past resident of Las Vegas of seven years, Christian Ollano has been exposed to the plethora of suggestive and racy advertisements that promote and form the image of Las Vegas popular to the world today. But this is provocative image is not the only side of Las Vegas that exists. For years, many have been lost in the misconception that Las Vegas is solely and adult entertainment capital, but in fact, it is a metropolis composed of two contrasting ideals of community. On one side there is a quaint residential community and on the other, an enticing adult getaway. After thorough research, it has been discovered that both these entities survive through a clashing co-dependence, one in which unbalanced power allows the casino industry to promote and uphold a racy and controversial identity of the city as a whole. This is a public image of the city that has been disseminated and made popular by Las Vegas marketing agencies, casino companies, and pop culture. In order to fix this problem, the casino sector will have to tame their strategies in an attempt to create a healthy and mutual co-existence between the two entities.

Samara, Bart, Katherine, Stanford Visual Rhetoric Group E

Introducing the creative work of three distinguised Stanford students: Samara Nichols, Bart Thompson, and Katherine Disenhof. Analyzing souces of viusal rhetoric, they each produced extensive research-based arguments on their respective topics. The following images concisely summarize their projects.

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The Darfur conflict has the potential to become a multi-million death genocide--the blood on the hands of our generation. In looking at the ways that the media has covered the topic, and more importantly what the media has not covered in their presentation of the issue, we can discover ways to better solve the Darfur problem and eliminate this devestating tragedy right now.

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Pallavi, Kanoa, Catalina, Stanford Group C- Visual Rhetoric

Hello, our names are Pallavi, Kanoa, and Catalina, and we are students at Stanford University, in the course Visual Rhetoric Across the Globe. Our three respective topics are fairness creams and social mobility, portrayal of racism in political cartoons across history, and negative media portrayals of elderly people.


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Older people are negatively portrayed in the media, from magazine advertisements, to health care commercials, to beauty products. Their roles are often those of the simple, feeble, overly conservative, physically or mentally deficient. Furthermore, they are underrepresented in advertisements, and when they are advertised they are shown in an excessively negative light. Negative media portrayals of older people have a detrimental effect on how they feel about themselves, as well as how younger people view the prospect of aging. This paper explores the ways in which our preconceived notions about older people are shaped by the media and the degree to which they are ingrained.

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Skin lightening is a phenomenon that has for years been quietly sweeping Asia into frenzy, particularly in the Indian Subcontinent. Presently, the fairness cream industries are not as discrete about their products as they were in the past. Fairness product advertisements monopolize all mediums of communication with deliberate intent, and promise a better life to their consumers. Companies such as Fair and Lovely and Ponds are thriving on well-believed notions that fair skin is superior to one that is dark, and are using this emotional vulnerability of the consumers to unscrupulously promote their products. The companies clearly state that fairness will lead to success both corporately and socially, thus fueling a plethora of existing insecurities that ultimately, and selfishly translate into reaping windfall profits from their sale of a ‘promise.’

The purpose of this essay is to explore the change in perspective of racism and U.S. relations in Hawaii using political cartoons. The author focuses on political cartoons from the annexation era, circa 1875-1905, to understand societal assumptions of race and U.S. relations in early Hawaii. He then focuses on cartoons of today to see the change of these key issues throughout Hawaiian history. Political cartoons give a definitive lens in which we can understand how Hawaii has changed, due to the social change of the islands. He then argues how cartoons can help to shape the future of Hawaii.


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Group B: Karina, Jason, Susan - Stanford Visual Arguments

Hello! Our names are Jason, Karina, and Susan and we are students at Stanford University in the Visual Rhetoric Across the Globe

Everyday we are bombarded with images that represent the ideals of beauty and body image through advertising. Usually, these images show an unrealistic and idealized version of the body yet as a society we strive towards attaining these ideals. The Dove company is trying to change the way the beauty industry is portraying beauty with their "campaign for real beauty" yet this campaign is not exactly practicing what it preaches. The Dove company is still straight-jacketing the definition of beauty through their campaign instead of eliminating a definition that does not have to exist at all.

Every year cartoonists around the world draw millions of cartoons in an attempt to present their ideas and inform the masses. Along with being humorous and/or shocking, these cartoons manage to educate and stimulate thought in its viewers. Election time is an ideal time to consider these cartoons as they try to depict the candidates in a humorous light, while exposing their true intentions and flaws.

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Culture plays a huge role in the way countries go about making decisions as well as the way the public reacts to decisions made by authoritative voices of the country. France joined the world in combating smoking at time when the French public had a positive cultural view of tobacco and where anti-Americanism was evident in all aspects of French culture. Instead of using scare tactic in combination with cause and effect strategies, the French focused on using illustrations to persuade the French public to be courteous to non-smokers. These passive campaigns were launched around the time that France’s first tobacco control law, the loi veil, was being enacted. The media campaigns and tobacco control policy were created in hopes of convincing the French public to stop smoking, however the media was not effective in convincing the public of anti-smoking by the time the law was enforced, and it was therefore met with opposition by the French. When France introduced its second tobacco control law, the loi evin, the media changed its strategy and created a parody of the Marlboro Man in order to dissociate American cowboys with smoking. After this ad was launched, French anti-smoking organizations began to create ads that were more aggressive in strategy, despite the fact that these strategies were contrary to anti-Americanism.

Megan, Benamy, Aidan, Stanford Group F Research Arguments

Megan, Benamy, and Aidan of Stanford Group F present their original research and arguments.

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From all of us:
We are three Stanford undergraduates writing for our Writing and Rhetoric class. We invite you to read and learn from our research. The topics we are writing on were all individually chosen, so they have special significance to each of us. It's our pleasure to share our work with you.

From Benamy:
My research concerns the campaign for clean coal in America. The campaign is led by the special interest group, the "American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity," which runs a slew of ads across the media, which have profound affects on public opinion of clean coal. This public opinion and active lobbying by ACCCE all have affects on energy policy in America. I argue that the ads mislead the American public with misinformation and by using empty rhetoric. The energy policy these strategies promote is wrong for America.

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From Megan:
My argument will discuss the current forms of exploitation of the Maori culture utilized by New Zealand advertisers. Domestic exploitation by ignorant and insensitive advertisers will be analyzed along with international exploitation by advertisers misusing the Maori culture for financial gain. The argument’s main purpose, however, will be to analyze exploitation so that recommendations can be made for solutions that will prevent and reduce it. Social advertising will be given as a concrete example of a successful solution. This example, along with other plans for change recommended by a New Zealand marketing authority, will provide the argument with the information necessary to extrapolate a proactive plan of action for the Maori.

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From Aidan:
In 1980, more than 120,000 Cuban refugees came to the United States. Many of them were gay. No government or religious agency would assist them. The gay and lesbian community in the United States (gay church groups in particular) pulled together to resettle these refugees, and help them assimilate into U.S. culture. Much of the rhetoric they employed in recruiting sponsors for these refugees relied on the ideas of brotherhood and unity across culture. But things did not quite go as originally envisioned – language barriers, class differences, racial tensions, and different expectations on the part of refugees and sponsors all got in the way of making the initial utopian ideals a reality.

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Stanford Group D's Projects: The Rhetoric of the 2008 Beijing Olympics plus Maria

Introduction:
Part of Group D, freshmen Stanford students Kevin Mo and Frances Wehrwein were both interested in the most famous international event in the past year: the 2008 Beijing Olympics. From different perspectives, Kevin and Frances analyzed Olympic advertisements from Lenovo, Adidas, and Visa for the specific rhetorical strategies used to either convince consumers to buy their products or to build loyalty to the brand. Below are the abstracts for Frances and Kevin's research based arguments, along with an image from the campaigns they analyzed (images augmented for copy right purposes).

Frances Wehrwein:
The 2008 Beijing Olympics provided Visa the perfect platform to push its initiative of building and solidifying its customer base, both in American and abroad. Using a three-faceted approach of integrated media: print ads, commercials, and an interactive microwebsite, Visa let consumers take ownership of their own Olympic experience. My research based argument explores the creation, implementation, and success of Visa’s “Go World” campaign, both from a “brand image” building stand-point and a financial gains stand-point.

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Kevin Mo:
With the huge amounts of money spent on advertising, the lives of Chinese consumers are cluttered with ads from companies such as Lenovo and Adidas. These ads used uniquely tailored and sophisticated marketing techniques to brand their specific products with the greatness of the Olympics and the nationalism of Beijing 2008. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a commercialistic attitude is being forced upon the Chinese consumer by the overwhelming clutter of advertisements that are trying to convince people to buy their products, and the power that these advertisements have to create emotional connections with viewers.

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Continue reading "Stanford Group D's Projects: The Rhetoric of the 2008 Beijing Olympics plus Maria" »

November 18, 2008

Uppsala and Stanford create Globalization websites

In a second video conference connection between Uppsala University, Sweden, and Stanford University, students had an opportunity to discuss Globalization. We started by considering alternative definitions of Globalization (see PPT on the Workshop Page) and then brought it home when students checked out the shirt labels of their colleagues to see where even their clothing was from (thanks to Helle Rytkonen for this idea!).

Professor Patrik Mehrens offered a great discussion of Max Hamburger as a response to McDonald's invading Sweden, and we also examined the website for IKEA as a globalization force - bringing Swedish values (design, food, even social practices like coffee breaks) to the rest of the world, especially the USA.

Students had a chance to pick their own McDonald's website to analyze, exploring how Doxa is represented in the visual rhetoric of websites, and then, using super creativity, they designed their own websites!

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Check out all the Group web designs and visual rhetoric on the Workshop Page

We invite everyone who participated to comment here on the experience:

What did you learn about rhetoric across cultures? (From sharing a cultural artifact, from the discussion, from making a visual rhetoric argument together as a team?)
What new insights do you have? (about cultural communication, doxa, or ads?)
What ideas do you wish you could continue to discuss?
What improvements to the video conference process can you suggest for next time?

Thank you! See you for the Dec 1 connection

November 06, 2008

Maratech 2008-11-03 Group E

The session gave some interesting and useful insights in how dependent you are of your own context and language. Therefore, discussing another country's politics in another language forces you to let go of many preconceptions and really try to focus on keeping an objective, strictly rethorical point of view. It also became clear how relative everything appears when you are comparing cultures. What is taken for granted in one culture can be regarded as highly controversial in another. That’s very important to remember, because it clearly shows the importance of considering Doxa. One very rewarding part, besides sharing points of view and ideas with our american friends, was the examples that Patrik and Alyssa presented. Patrik´s for focusing on something that Sweden and USA have in common, the importance of cars, but also in what way we differ in that aspect. Alyssa´s for making us aware of how little we know of American media's different positions in the debate. We also found it quite interesting how unaware the american population seem to be about the international media coverage on the american election. Comparing swedish and american politics also gave us som perspective on our own swedish doxa.

We believe that this way of communicating is very rewarding, and if given the possibility to perform future sessions with a bit more preparation, they will give us some invaluable lessons.

Robert & Lotta

Uppsala University Group 1 - On maratech session 3/11

The similarities are very striking, but the caricatures are more common in American politics than in Swedish. The so called "smear campaigns" aren’t as common here, although we didn’t mention it that much. We also compared our different politics and discussed the financial crisis. Here in Sweden we don’t generally approve so much to enormous campaign founding’s which wasn’t that big of an issue in America. Overall we found many things were alike; something that implies cultural differences may be larger between different social groups that between cultures.

The most memorable about the meeting was our new compositions of the already existing cartoons.

At first the meeting was a bit chaotic, because the assignment was the first rhetoric task we (the Swedes) had in another language; something that gave us a disadvantage. The language-barrier made the meeting a bit awkward at first. But it turned out okay.

Before next meeting it would be nice if we would receive more, and more detailed, instructions; to avoid the confusion that was in the beginning of last session.

It has been very interesting, and intellectually rewarding, to speak to fellow students across the Atlantic!

Best Regards/ Marko, Esmeralda and Tim: Group 1

Marratech and the power of reasoning

It was interesting to discuss the different views and angles on politic-based satire with represents of Stanford University – We dissected examples that with all certainty would have another impact in Europe than in America.
We noticed that we, on the Swedish side, got a bit crippled when it came to actual live-discussion, which will be utterly improved until next session.
Something that really gave the discussion a good clarity was the fact that we use the same rhetorical terms which opened up for a legible communication.
We would like to continue to evolve the relationship between Stanford and Uppsala since we noticed, and probably will continue to notice, that the exchange of doxa is very important to the development of our rhetorical analyzing skills. We would like to be more prepared so that we can live up to the language barriers and so that our work will earn the American superlatives.
We appreciated the possibility to be creative with the whiteboard – it gave the discussion a better visualisation.
/Emma and Joakim

November 03, 2008

Uppsala and Stanford focus on Visual Rhetoric of Election Cartoons

Today, students at Uppsala University in Sweden and Stanford University will be connecting for the first of three video conferences. Today's focus is on the Rhetorical Situation of Political Cartoons; it seems an appropriate topic (topoi) given that we are on the eve of the US presidential election.

See, for instance, this tiny piece of Daryl Cagle's cartoon on the election (I'm not posting the whole thing for copyright reasons):
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We'll be examining a lot of cartoons from Cagle's Professional Cartoon website and also reading scholarly articles about political cartoons as powerful cultural texts that both reflect and shape structures of power.

In the video conference, students will have a chance to select and analyze both Swedish and American cartoons that are particularly strong examples of Doxa, or cultural values. And then students will get a chance to "talk back" or modify/create their own political cartoon about cultural values and diverse audiences! (See Workshop Page)

Here, we invite everyone how participated today to post a comment and give some feedback:
* What did you learn about rhetoric across cultures?
* What was most memorable?
* What new insights do you have?
* What ideas do you wish you could continue to discuss?
* What improvements to the video conference process can you suggest for next time?